Fondazione Social Venture Giordano Dell’Amore

Chico Mendes

Chico Mendes is a social cooperative founded in Milan in 1990. Today it represents one of the main companies active in the fair trade sector, operating in the provinces of Milan and Brescia. It is engaged in the sale of food and handicraft products from small producers in the countries of the southern hemisphere and from the Italian social cooperation network. In 2017 it approved the merger with the Brescia Solidarity Cooperative, giving life to the largest fair trade organization in Lombardy. It is present in the area with 10 points of sale (of which 6 in Milan and the remaining in Brescia and its province), together with an online shop that makes home deliveries throughout Italy. Since 1997 Chico Mendes has organized the “Banco di Garabombo” in Milan, the largest ethical Christmas market in Europe and this year he has launched the first loyalty program of the entire Italian fair trade network.

Chico Mendes is now supported by Fondazione Social Venture Giordano Dell’Amore (or “FSVGDA”), which has invested €50,000 in the initiative as part of “Impact4Coop”, the program born from the synergy between FSVGDA and Fondazione Cariplo puts €1.2M in the field to contribute to the strengthening of assets and the recovery of the cooperative sector, severely affected by the socio-economic effects generated by the pandemic.

Specifically, the investment operation was carried out, in a logic of matching, following the candidacy of Chico Mendes for the “Target 1” of the programme, aimed at Social Cooperatives that generate an impact in the reference territories of Fondazione Cariplo (Lombardy , provinces of Novara and Verbano Cusio Ossola) and who have resolved after 01/07/2021 and by 12/04/2022 a capital increase of no more than €50,000.


The Cooperative aims to contribute to the dissemination of sustainable economy models, promoting the affirmation of economic and social rights and the right working and health conditions of those who take part (small local producers). Chico Mendes, in fact, favors the consumption of organic, local and genuine products, made while preserving the environment and encourages the promotion of the goods of the social and solidarity economy. (e.g. objects and clothing). The different categories of products distributed by the Cooperative – fresh and packaged food, clothes and accessories, natural cosmetics, fabrics and ceramics from Italy and all over the world – are ethical, sustainable and of high quality: the commercial activity is, in fact, , founded on responsible supply chains, attentive to the protection of workers’ rights and the environment. Furthermore, the Cooperative supports four solidarity initiatives in Italy: “Frantoio del Parco”, an organic farming project aimed at the production of Tuscan IGP Bio Evo oil; “Calabria Solidale”, a network of small Calabrian producers who work in compliance with the law and environmental protection; “Spartacus”, the program that aims to integrate migrants into employment and housing in the context of degradation and exploitation of the Piana di Gioia Tauro in Calabria; “La Vigna del Naviglio”, which provides for the environmental recovery of abandoned land in the Rozzano area and the employment of disadvantaged people.

Foundation year
Legal status
Social Cooperative
Fair Trade
In portfolio since
Type of investment